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Sep 7, 2011 03:51 AM

KFC-style light fluffy biscuits?

My dad loves the biscuits from KFC. I can make some good homemade biscuits, however the look and texture is completely different from these. Mine are flaky and tender though crusty on the outside, KFC's are lighter and more pillowy. I've done some web searches and all the recipes I come across have basically the same ingredients - flour, butter or shortening, salt, baking powder, milk or buttermilk, and sometimes sugar. I've also seen recipes that call for White Lily self-rising flour, which we don't have in the Northwest. Pic #1 is KFC's biscuits, pic #2 is basically how mine turn out. Anyone have a recipe that yields a softer, fluffier biscuit?

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  1. Hi gmm:
    A few things occur. There are better and more experienced bakers here, though; and they may weigh in later to tell you I'm nuts.
    1. Those are some amazing' biscuits you turn out, girlfriend. I WISH. 2. Using White Lily will only make them better - in a way not in keeping with the results you've got in mind. 3. When you mix your biscuits, at the point where you are incorporating fat into flour, make the crumb just a little finer than you ordinarily would; and have the butter at room temp; not ice cold. Then, when you've done them and cut them, give them a good wash, 1 egg/1T. water; that'll seal them and make a crunchy top and guarantee a moister interior. Good luck.

    1. I agree w/ mamachef--those are biscuits you make look good!. The best hint I've gotten for making light fluffy biscuits is to cut the fat into the flour w/ your fingers. You can control how gently it's being mixed then. My favorite recipe for fluffy biscuits is from the Best Recipe and it uses a mix of AP flour and cake flour (probably replicating the lightness of White Lily type flour).

      1 c ap flour
      1 c cake flour
      2 tsp baking powder
      1/2 tsp baking soda
      1 tsp sugar
      8 tbsp butter (1 stick) chilled and cut into 1/4" cubes (plus 2tbsp buttter for brushing on top)
      1/4 c buttermilk (can also use yogurt plus 2 tbsp but I've only used buttermilk)
      2-3 tbsp buttermilk, as needed

      Preheat oven to 450. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt (I whisk). W/ fingertips, gently mix until you have coarse meal w/ some larger butter lumps. Stir in buttermilk to form soft sticky ball. Sprinkle w/ additional buttermilk if dry and firm. Flour hands and divide into 12 pieces. Lightly pat each one to form ball. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, 1" apart. Brush w/ melted butter. Bake 10-12 mins.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        Sorry, just noticed the typo. Should be 3/4 c buttermilk, not 1/4.

        1. re: chowser

          Your directions call for salt, but your ingredients do not say how much. Thank you.

        2. My recipe is similar to Chowser's but doesn't use cake flour. The use of both baking powder and baking soda, plus buttermilk, yields soft, fluffy results. Another key for softness: No rolling them out. You form them into balls and bake in a round cake pan.

          I once traveled 1,000 miles to eat a biscuit. (To the Loveless Cafe in Nashville area.) I searched high and low to find a soft, fluffy biscuit recipe that could compare to the cafe's gems. Epic fail for years UNTIL I came across this recipe. No need to travel, now I can make my own awesome biscuits.

          P.S. I originally got the recipe from Cook's Illustrated, Aug. 2004 issue. The recipe is all over the web though.

          3 Replies
          1. re: TrishUntrapped

            If you go to the link above -- which leads to a very yummy looking recipe -- you will see a listing for other biscuit recipes on the right side of the page. It includes a listing for KFC biscuits. The odd ingredient in that recipe is club soda. Good luck.

            1. re: susanl143

              Good catch Susan, that recipe with the club soda is interesting.

              Here is a different link to the recipe I linked to above. Again, it is the same CI recipe only the poster has added pictures and all the steps in the CI recipe.

              You are supposed to pull them apart at the end like shown, to release the last bit of steam. This thread is too enticing. I am definitely making them this weekend!


            2. re: TrishUntrapped

              I like the directions on it for using a food processor. The short pulses are key and even with that, I find I can easily overmix it. I like the cake flour in the CI recipe I posted but more baking powder is a good idea. Maybe I'll combine the two.

            3. Recipe I use is;

              2c flour (AP- part cake flour or cornstarch would be a bit lighter)
              1 Tb baking powder
              1/2 tsp. baking soda
              2 oz butter
              1 tsp salt
              3/4 c. buttermilk

              375/ 20 min (fairly crusty biscuits)

              This is a bit more leavening and liquid than most recipes, and comes out quite light. I cut the butter in roughly and then rub it in. Cold butter works best.

              6 Replies
              1. re: oldunc

                Cold butter does, indeed work best for the most-searched desired result, which is: layers more strata-like than those apparently being requested by the poster. Hence my suggestion to use warmer butter. Not WARM, mind you: just not ice-cold. (It' might help if I explain that to make my biscuits, I routinely actually freeze the butter I plan to incorporate.) It's the "sheets" of butter that collect between the flour layers that lend "flakiness" as opposed to a more cohesive, moist result. The posted result is MY ideal: a tall totally flaky steaming biscuit. The KFC is less-risen and clearly not ask flaky. :)
                Refer to my above comment about there being more experienced bakers, on and on, while I slink away.

                1. re: mamachef

                  I've heard people say freezing butter and then grating it helps but I've never tried it.

                  As flaky biscuits go, CI also has a recipe for that, that uses a small amount of shortening to butter. I like that one, too. It's a rolled and cut recipe and you fold the dough. LOL as experienced bakers go, I always wish I had a southern grandmother who could teach me how to make biscuits and an Italian grandmother to show me how to make pasta properly, I've had to rely on books, TV shows and CHers (who've been invaluable).

                  This thread has me thinking biscuits--we'll be having those tonight, along w/ chicken and gravy since the chicken and waffles thread has me thinking of that.

                  1. re: chowser

                    It has me headed in the same direction for dinner at home this evening, too. :)

                    1. re: chowser

                      Old Southern Great Grand Mommas used lard in biscuits....Use Shortening!!! Save the butter to put *on* the biscuits instead of *in* the dough ~~~

                      Ok! If you just insist on using butter....At least use 1/2 butter...1/2 shortening! ;)

                      Luck & Fun!

                      1. re: Uncle Bob

                        Yeah, I'll bet good lard makes a big difference.

                    2. re: mamachef

                      I have a fairly cool hand, and I find by the time it's rubbed in it's about as warm as I'd want.

                  2. You've reminded me to do a little work on this. While I prefer my own biscuit to the chains, I've been curious as to how to replicate their texture.

                    My guess is that they contain less fat than homemade (which is why they're not flaky) and probably more leavening and liquid. Also, I'm sure the fat is some relatively inexpensive hydrogenated veg oil, not butter or lard. Probably soft wheat flour and a greater degree of mixing/kneading than homemade, which would point toward the "pillowy vs flaky" texture. Finally, they're generally baked so they touch, hence the lack of crispyness on the sides..

                    If i have any revelations, you'll be the first to know.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: rjbh20

                      Also a very good chance they're using a leavening agent not available at your local market.

                      1. re: rjbh20

                        If you want pillowy.... the recipe I posted is the bomb.